NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Derek Jeter will be doing extra work with hitting coach Kevin Long as the Yankees captain adjusts to a change in his stride at the plate.
The pair are set for an additional session Tuesday at the Yankees’ complex. Jeter was not scheduled to make the road trip for a spring training game against Pittsburgh.
“We’re going to work even a little bit more than we’ve been working,” Long said after the Yankees were beaten 6-2 by Detroit on Monday. “His timing is just a little bit off on the outside pitch. He’s got to wait a little longer on those pitches. And the ones inside, he’s a little late on.”
Jeter is no longer striding with his left foot. He made a smaller adjustment late last season, shortening his stride after a session with Long.
WATCH: Kevin Long explains Jeter’s new stride to Sweeny Murti
Jeter batted .270 last year, 44 points below his career average. Early on this year, he’s acknowledged that he doesn’t feel comfortable at the plate, and he asked Long for the additional workout.
“We can’t go crazy here,” Long said. “He’s just starting out spring training. He’s just like anybody else. He’s still got to get his timing, whether he was doing what he did before or what he’s doing now. You’ve got to be patient.”
Jeter has one hit in his first two spring training games, a ground single to left.
“I’ve got to get used to it,” Jeter said. “I’m trying to get comfortable with it.”
Long is hopeful that Jeter will be at ease with the change about a week before the regular-season opener on March 31.
“That would be ideal,” Long said. “This is going to be a process. It isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s something that’s new to him.”
It’s likely Jeter will play in extra games, and possibly take part in simulated situations, to get more at-bats this spring.
“I could see that coming into the picture,” Long said. “He doesn’t feel real comfortable up there yet. I’m not discouraged. I’m looking forward to getting it right, and we will.”
Will Derek be able to make the adjustments to climb back toward .300? Sound off in the comments below…
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